But what does that actually mean?
Businesses are used to employing the creative skill of website designers and coders to build and maintain the visual appeal and functionality of their website. But when it comes to creating the text and maintaining an ongoing stream of fresh content, many marketeers and business owners turn to in-house resources rather than pay for a professional.
You may have heard the buzz-phrase ‘content is king’, but what does that actually mean? What sort of content is worthy of this royal title?
The purpose of website content
Website content has a few key purposes, which are:
- To guide visitors around your site (secondary navigation)
- To portray your brand personality
- To inform your customers
- To help the search engines rank your site
These rules apply whether you’re drafting text for the pages of your website, or adding your latest news story or blog. Each piece of content should aim to navigate and inform your customer in a way which represents your brand personality, whilst assisting Google in ranking your site well for the search terms you consider commercially important.
The theory of copy-led design
There’s a trend for giving the copywriter free reign to write as much or as little copy as they see fit, and then making the web designer work around it. This method doesn’t always work for us. Why? Because content is just one crucial cog in the overall page design and shoe-horning endless lengthy paragraphs into a clean, fresh website design will immediate threaten the modern look you were (probably) after.
We believe that web designers and copywriters should work in tandem to produce:
- A page design which looks great and contains just the right amount of text
- A site map that benefits from primary and secondary navigation
- Clever design elements that complement the content and the brand personality
Less is always more when it comes to website copy
Research shows that when we browse the web, we don’t really want to read. We want to get straight to the information we’re after without having to read lengthy pages of copy first. This is where a professional copywriting skillset really comes into play – being able to deliver information, personality and key search terms in little to no space at all.
If you’re passionate about writing your own website copy, why not pay a professional to give it the once over and edit it down for you, so you get your own copy with a pro’s touch – win win!
When writing website content, it’s tempting to copy chunks of text from other sources, or write slightly strange sounding sentences just to cram in those all-important search terms like ‘domestic cleaner Birmingham’. Stop! When it comes to content, Google likes high quality, unique content and will penalise your site if it identifies duplicate text or odd sentences crammed with key search terms that don’t fit eloquently into a sentence.
What about ongoing content?
There are two main streams of ongoing content you will need to consider. The first is news and blog content (as well as social media posts) and the second is website updates. Let’s look at those two areas in more detail:
News and blogs
Your blog is the heart of your brand personality and regular blog posts will give you some strong social media fodder as your business grows. Blogs can cover several topics such as:
- Company news: new staff, new products and charity events
- Industry insight: your opinion on changes which are impacting your industry
- Advice: shareable reads that offer helpful, friendly advice to your customers
Remember to include a call to action in each blog post you write and link to other areas of interest on your site – turning each post into part of a wider journey, rather than a dead end.
If your business is experiencing growth your website will feel dated quite quickly. Get into the habit of giving your site a read-through every quarter and update each page a little if you can. This fresh content will help Google to rank your site, and customers will thank you for keeping important product and service information as current as possible.
Areas which often become dated include:
- About us: remember to add new starters as and when they join your business
- Carousels and banner: if you advertise a seasonal offer, make sure you remove it afterwards
- Homepage: update those crucial first sentences so that they always reflect your market position
Need to chat to a copywriter?
The role of a copywriter in the website build and maintenance processes is often underappreciated, so why not give Marie (our copywriter) a call to chat through your requirement? We guarantee you’ll be surprised at the difference a professional writer can make to your online presence.